At 6 a.m., Leanne Wilson’s doctor gave her a flyer for Alcoholics Anonymous and told her she was unlikely to have her 21st birthday.
But it wasn’t alcohol that killed her, it was binge eating – a habit that sent her soaring to number 24.
Having battled type 2 diabetes, Leanne, from Witham, Essex, was struggling to breathe when she went to her GP – where a biopsy showed her liver was failing due to it being fatty and damaged. hurt by her poor diet.
Leanne, now 37, told The Sun: “In more than 20 years as a GP, he says he’s only ever seen this kind of damage in alcoholics. He simply won’t believe me when I say I hardly ever drink.”
It was the wake-up call Leanne needed to completely change her life.
Now, the enchanting, 13-stone lighter Leanne is a shadow of her former self – something she largely credits to her new career as one of Britain’s sexiest beauties.
She gave up her six-figure salary as a senior civil servant to get thousands of steps a day on her rounds.
“I hate the gym, so I went on brainwaves,” says Leanne. Now I walk up to 9 miles a day, chat with people in my group, stress-free and have time to focus on myself.
“I earn a fraction of what I did before in my senior role in local government, but I have never been happier.
“People stop me on the street and ask me if I really am a postman, sending me compliments about how great I look, but I explain that no matter how good I look on the outside, It’s nothing compared to how great I feel inside.”
Growing up, Leanne was bullied because of her size. While her friends shop at the regular stores on the street, she has to resort to specialty plus size companies for her clothes.
“Throughout my teenage years, I tried all sorts of diets and knew they didn’t work because they always presented food as a reward for the ‘cheat days’,” she said.
In college, Leanne spent all of her earnings from her part-time bar and store jobs on McDonald’s and Domino’s pizza.
A typical day begins with two sausage and egg McMuffins, followed by a 12-inch serving of meatballs with extra cheese and crisps.
Dinner will be a family-sized pizza with extra garlic bread.
“It’s all about secret eating – endless chocolate and chips stored in my bedroom or my car,” says Leanne.
At her heaviest was at 20, she gained weight at 24 and wore a size 26 dress.
There are sad incidents, like the time when she was 19 years old and on vacation with her family in Mexico.
Leanne recalls: “I couldn’t just sit in the plane seat. The woman next to me openly complained to the flight attendant that I had overflowed her seat.
“I needed to fasten my seat belt, and by the time we touched down, I had lost all feeling on either side of my body because the armrests were severed and my leg was bleeding profusely.”
I needed to unbuckle my seat belt on the plane, and when we touched down, I lost all feeling in my sides because blood had cut the armrests and my legs were bleeding.
Leanne was offered gastric bypass surgery by the NHS but she refused because she knew she had to “fix her brain”.
With a doctor’s warning ringing in her ears, she took a nutrition course as well as a course in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help change her mind about food, at a cost of £1,000. .
She’s made small changes, like swapping out healthy foods, avoiding processed foods and refined carbs, and learning how to cook and understand her body’s triggers.
“I don’t just have a mountain to climb if I want to be ‘thin’, I have to conquer Everest, so health is my focus,” says Leanne.
“By taking more care of my diet, by the age of 22 I had lost 6th in just over a year, which I am delighted with.
“I move as much as I can because I’m too old to exercise, so I walk up and down the stairs and go to the shops as much as I can, supplementing my varied diet.”
Life-changing tragedy and betrayal
Down to 17th place, Leanne feels healthy for the first time in years. Crucially, by her mid-20s, Leanne’s liver had improved and her diabetes was in remission.
Slimmer and healthier, she landed a well-paying job as a government manager and began to advance in her career.
Then, five years ago, Leanne’s father Andy passed away from pancreatic cancer. A year later, she left her partner of 13 years after she discovered he had cheated on her with a friend of hers.
She said: “He blamed me for not getting over my father’s death, that I wasn’t the same person anymore.
“Being with him for so long, I completely lost my identity; The person I trusted the most betrayed me, leaving me in pieces.
“I’m comfortable eating to deal with it, but recognize triggers quickly so it doesn’t escalate.”
Leanne was diagnosed with PTSD and depression and had to take time off work to reevaluate things.
“I need to change my life if I want to be happy,” she said. If nothing else, I have to do this for my father.
“I am still over 13.5 stone, working horrible hours in an extremely stressful and stressful job, tricking myself into thinking that the six-figure salary I was working in as a bank made up for it.
“I don’t have a work-life balance and really don’t find a way to be happy.”
In 2018, Leanne came up with the idea to join the postal service.
I earn a fraction of what I did before, but I have never been happier. People stop me in the street and ask if I’m really a postman, complimenting me on how great I look.
Her new job gave her a new life, and she lost even more weight while running on the streets.
She said: “Last summer, I finally got down to kicking 10 and a half minutes, and was flooded with compliments from people I know.
“Because I have lost 13 stone gradually and have had long-term habits, I know I will never be pathologically obese again.”
Friends and colleagues kept asking Leanne what her secret was, so she started a consulting firm – Coach PMA – Help people improve their weight loss mindset.
Leanne said: “I would have died if I had not found my own way.
“I am proof that if you change your mental outlook first, everything else will be fine.”
https://www.thesun.ie/fabulous/8265463/britains-sexiest-postie-leanne-wilson-weight-loss/ I’m Britain’s sexiest beauty – I dropped my 13th & 6th salary to walk miles after getting so fat, my legs bled